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Modern Arabic Short Stories: A Bilingual Reader

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  59 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The stories collected here are by leading authors of the short story form in the Middle East today. In addition to works by writers already wellknown in the West, such as Idwar al-Kharrat, Fu'ad al-Takarli and Nobel Prize winner Najib Mahfuz, the collection includes stories by key authors whose fame has hitherto been restricted to the Middle East. This bilingual reader is ...more
ebook, 361 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Saqi Books (first published May 2008)
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Jonathan Mckay
Aug 12, 2011 Jonathan Mckay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the perspective of reading the book in Arabic from a native English speaker:

How do I describe a collection of short stories like this? Clearly, it is impossible to doubt the quality of the stories, each of which was interesting and entertaining in its own right. My favorites were the ‘Tale of the Lamp’ in which we see a starved traveler stumble upon a rich kingdom, and ‘The Night and the Sea’ which painted a bleak but moving picture with its rich descriptions and overwhelming emotions.

I went to sit at a cafe with a friend while he did some work and he gave me this book to read so I wouldn't distract him! It turned out to be a nice way to pass a couple hours, although I did read it in English and would like to sit down again in the future to actually re-read it in Arabic.

The value of this book to non-Arabic speakers is that it offers translations of short stories by famous MENA region authors, all of whom are famous in Arabic but are not widely translated/read in English. It a
Feb 22, 2014 Musafirs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Purchased this book at Used book fair but woth the cost 1/10th original price.

Interesting authors who i was not exposed to their work & culture but found it interesting to learn from their amazing narration & story lines

Ali Kabalan
Oct 14, 2015 Ali Kabalan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Arabic or English learners
Recommended to Ali by: Paula
I like the book not because it is my first Bilingual ( English- Arabic book). But because of the choosen stories. It is a valuable book for whom wants to know about the modern Arabic literature.It is kind of "teaching" English or Arabic book.
I like all the stories & their writers.
I got this book as a gift from my American friend Paula.
كتاب جميل وقيم وبسيط. يشبه الكتب التعليمية ومفيد جدا لمن يريد أن يزيد لغته الإنكليزية أو العربية متانةز
كتاب يثقف، يعلم ويسلي. إختيار الكتاب وقصصهم موفق.هوأو
May 03, 2015 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Selection of writers and stories: excellent! Translation: godawful. It does save you the trouble of looking up some rare words, at least when it doesn't skip them for convenience. The footnotes for the more technical or dialect vocabulary are pretty decent. Even so, can anyone who translates "open mouths" as "gaping maws" be taken seriously? I have grave doubts for the future of Arabic translation if these are the people who direct MAs in Arabic/English Translation.

I am now inspired to read mor
The earlier stories tended to be better in my opinion, but overall there was a wide range of both male and female middle eastern writers, all with their individual styles. I can't read, write or understand Arabic but as an English language reader I was still entertained.
David Alexander
Mar 12, 2013 David Alexander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives me great inroads into modern Arabic literature which, inshahallah, I will take the opportunity to utilize. There is nothing like literature to pay off labors in learning a language because once you have unwrapped the meaning you find something rich and intense and flavored with the local life. Many of the stories were very engaging and sometimes I was swept up from a state of labor to being buoyed along by the story. Some of my favorites in this collection were those by Muhammad ...more
Sarah A. K.
May 28, 2013 Sarah A. K. added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: Judy Bello
It is an amazing collection of Arabic short stories. It gets very confusing sometimes, but that does not take out their importance. Most of the stories tackles society problems that been and still here in the modern Arab societies. The language that the authors used is amazingly beautiful. I loved the Arabic version because rare and very old vocabulary have been used. Few of the stories I still don't understand or see very clearly the moral behind it. But I guess this is what is intended, to loo ...more
Tom Kenis
Apr 13, 2015 Tom Kenis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent tool for anyone learning Arabic, mid-level to advanced.
The stories are varied and enjoyable, offering a fairly representative glimpse of modern (pre-spring) Arabic literature with it's rich detail, social metaphor/critique, and vestiges of magical-realism. Translations strike the right balance between readable adaptation and word-for-word rendering for language students.
Pretty good introduction to the modern literary language.
Lots of typos in this edition though.
Aug 23, 2009 Cat rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kutub
I am reading this as part of my "Arabic" bookclub, but am finding it hard going.
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